Monday, October 06, 2008

How to encourage your company to build Software Craftsmen

I was watching this video about creating Craftsman developers, and it only briefly touches on how to get management buy in.

It basically says that you have to convince them by showing them case studies and showing them the successes you are having. However, it doesn't go into detail on what those are.

I think that one good way is to try and show some skills that are lacking. Start with a survey to find out what skills the developers have. The goal needs to be getting more people with more of those skills. If there is any skill that only one or two people have, this is a potential huge problem. Having additional cross training and teaching meetings to teach more people these skills is a huge benefit for a company.

Another good way to do it is to try and show some testing metrics. Some companies may have automated UI test tools and have a way to show how many are passing, however many do not. Many also do not have or use unit tests. The lack of code based testing also means that there is a potential hole in applications. If this is the case then the craftsman skill of unit testing and mocks is probably not prevalent and needs to be passed on, as well as measured in it's practice. Measure the number of unit tests and code coverage.

You can buy a good plant and put it in your garden, but if you don't continue to put time and resources into that garden, then it will become overrun with weeds and your strong expensive plants will die. Programmers are like that, only they will become stagnant, or move on to another place where they have the opportunity to continue to grow.

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